Turkey lashes out at EU over refugee deal

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. EPA-EFE/PAVEL GOLOVKIN / POOL

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday accused the European Union of failing to honour a refugee deal, strongly criticizing the bloc for failing to pay Turkey the amount it promised.

The criticism comes two days before German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Turkey on an official visit.

Cavusoglu told the German Bild newspaper that the EU had promised to pay Turkey €3 billion ($3.33 billion) in both 2016 and 2018.

“Now it is 2020 and we still have not received the first €3 billion in its entirety,” Cavusoglu said.

Under the deal, agreed to in 2016, the number of Syrian refugees arriving in the EU via Turkey has reduced.

In addition to the financial shortcomings, Cavusoglu has also accused the EU of not respecting other parts of the refugee deal as agreed.

The 2016 agreement called for Ankara to stop the flow of migrants headed to the EU and accept the return of people who travelled to the EU via Turkey if their applications for asylum were denied in Europe.

In exchange, the EU promised billions of euros of aid to Turkey, to re-examine membership talks for Turkey’s place in the bloc as well as the possibility of visa-free travel for Turks visiting the EU.

Read more via DW

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